David Cole
Mountaineer  |  Everest Summiteer  |  Adventurer
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Welcome to my Antarctica Expedition photo gallery (Nov 2011)   4,892m Vinson Massif


11pm at Punta Arenas airport, Chile. The mighty Russian Iluyshin 76 aircraft awaits us.


Not often you fly with a truck parked at the back of the cabin.


Travelling in "raw" style......


First glimpse of the Antarctic ice sheets below.


Stepping out onto the blue ice runway at Union glacier on a relatively mild day.


Our transport to transfer us the 15km to Union glacier base camp.

That is a Utah number plate on the truck!


Union glacier base camp. This facility supports logistics for onward travel within Antarctica.


An outer suburb of Union glacier.


This is about as 5 star as you'll get this far south.


Just hope you don't need any major surgery.


"And they'll dry?"


Yes...that is to the south pole.


All our team's gear waiting to be loaded onto the next flight transferring us to the mountain.


Our transport from Union glacier to Vinson Massif is on this twin otter.


Another flight.....45 minutes and we will be at Vinson base camp.


Vinson Massif base camp and the runway.....definitely a getaway.


"oh what a feeling!"


Base camp with views of the glacial valley route and summit range in background.


Magnificent views from base camp....the sun never set, but rather circled the horizon.


As they say..."position, position, position"


A glacial ice fall towers above base camp.


Strong winds blowing across the upper mountain.


The team conducting a review of the route.


A superb day had for a load carry up to Camp 1.


Strong winds on a nearby peak.


Returning to base camp (seen in distance).


A foggy day at Camp 1.


Starting out on the 800m of fixed lines that climb up to Camp 2.


Climbing up to Camp 2.


A rest break on the fixed lines heading up to Camp 2.


Taking in the views high above Camp 1.


Quite regularly we would see this halo around the sun.


Views from Camp 2 just 6 hours before leaving for the summit.


This cliff just meters from Camp 2 and was a favourite to wander over too

and marvel at the incredible, raw beauty of Antarctica.


"Anyone out there?"


Summit day about to ascent the final ridgeline.


Approaching the summit.


I reached the highest point in Antarctica at 5pm on 26th November 2011.


On top of 4,892m Vinson Massif, Antarctica. My 6th Seven Summit.


Views from the top looking along the Ellsworth mountain range.


Just spectacular......


Looking out across the glacial plains.


Happy chaps.....David Cole, Dave Hahn and Urs Bernhard.


Returning from the summit to Camp 2. It took us 9 hours round trip.


Descending the fixed lines to Camp 1.


Descending the fixed lines to Camp 1.


High on the fixed lines.


A roped team approaching base camp.


Have pack, will travel. Dave Hahn on the way to base camp.


Back at base camp and our team having a few celebratory. (cold) red wines.


Loading the twin otter for the flight back to Union glacier.


Views on the flight back to Union glacier.


Views from Union glacier.


A massive glacier flows down from the ice shelf.


Domestic duties in the dining room at Union glacier base camp waiting to return to Chile.


We were at Union glacier for several days waiting for a flight out.

Numerous briefings were given on the weather forecast and the status of the flight leaving Chile.


Loaded up on the "cattle" truck for the 10 mile journey to the Iluyshin's runway.


2am in the morning and absolutely freezing as we head to the runway.


The Iluyshin finally arrives.


We were waiting in this building to keep warm whilst they loaded the aircraft.

But "warm" is a relative term.....check out the ice we had to scrape away from the inside of the window.


Looks cold...is cold.


Still loading....


Up close and personal.


4 hours later and were almost ready to take off....


Wind swept snow blasting across the blue ice runway


Back at Punta Arenas airport.


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